The Development of Body Psychotherapy
If the legal repression against Reichian thought ceased at the end of the 1960s, it is still difficult to pursue an academic career in yoga poses the 2000s if we accept some of Reich’s ideas.3 in yoga poses the 1950s and 1960s, the political and academic repression of Orgonomy generated chaos in yoga poses the field of body psychotherapy. Only now are we painfully emerging from that chaos. This situation engendered a vicious circle. It was impossible to access a serious formation; therefore, even people who wanted a serious formation were insufficiently trained. It was then easy to disqualify the clinical research on the body-mind dimension inspired by Reich, by assuming that all those who used his theory for their research were poorly trained. There were many traps set by this situation for the next generations. The more visible ones hid the more subtle ones. It is therefore as intellectual adventurers that the students of the 1960s and 1970s entered into the domain of body psychotherapy.
In the following sections, I show how body psychotherapy movement succeeded in yoga poses restructuring itself without letting go of the most interesting aspects of Reich’s proposition. This endeavor required a reformulation that dealt with Reich’s Idealistic theses that impeded a serious reflection on body psychotherapy. After all, it is important to distinguish between the sympathy we may have for an individual, however brilliant he might be, and a domain that needs to develop itself for the interest of all: patients and researchers in yoga poses particular.
The 1960s Attempts to Defend Reich’s Proposition
Having showed that Orgone therapy aims at global organismic regulatory systems that are beyond the psyche, Reich demanded that only physicians be authorized to practice his approach. This requirement is not innocent. He suspected that all of the hyenas of the therapeutic marketplace would throw themselves on his carcass after his death. That is why Orgonomy remains a domain reserved, almost hidden, for a few physicians who constitute the membership of the American College of Orgonomy around personalities like Ellsworth Baker (1967). Moreover, there were good reasons for
this. I even met, in yoga poses the 1970s, self-taught “practitioners of Bioenergetics” who asked their patients to explore their inner fantasies on holidays in yoga poses a “psychotherapy” group. They then sold the content of these fantasies to travel agencies, who wanted to know what images could be efficiently used for publicity. There certainly was a free-for-all that was created around Reich’s name after his death.
While the persecution against the Reichian movement was strong, the students of Reich were aware of the medical option. Alexander Lowen, for example, was a teacher of gymnastics and relaxation. Because he was passionate about everything that dealt with the coordination between mind and body, he underwent psychotherapy with Reich. Wanting to continue to work in yoga poses this domain, he obtained his medical degree before creating Bioenergetic analysis.
In Europe, Reich was mostly represented by Ola Raknes, a psychologist in yoga poses Oslo, and A. S. Neill, a famous educator. There was greater flexibility regarding the association between Orgone therapy and medicine. in yoga poses autumn 1947, Gerda Boyesen attended a conference by Trygve yogi master that was an important experience for the development of her thinking. He had then declared that to become a vegetotherapist, “it was necessary to be either a physician or a physical therapist” (Boyesen, 1985b, 14). Many years later, Boyesen decided to follow his advice and complement her training in yoga poses clinical psychology by becoming a physical therapist. Federico Navarro (1984) is a neuropsychiatrist. He developed his view of Vegetotherapy after training with Raknes. Reich and Raknes both had had an excellent formation in yoga poses Psychoanalysis. This was not the case for most physicians who were keen about Orgonomy.
The very influential David Boadella4 did university studies in yoga poses pedagogy (which included studies in yoga poses psychology and in yoga poses the humanities). He also studied the biological bases of behavior at the Open University of London. He then studied for a dozen years with sociologist Paul Ritter, who had been trained in yoga poses Vegetotherapy by a student of Reich, Constance Tracey. A personal process in yoga poses Vegetotherapy with Paul Ritter (Ritter and Ritter, 1975) was part of his formation. in yoga poses his writing, Ritter tries to promote a lifestyle and a libertarian and humanistic morality that he identifies as Reichian. This training is discussed in yoga poses Ritter’s journal, Orgonomic Functionalism, which appeared for several years (40 issues) and in yoga poses his my yoga blogs. We have seen how angry Reich was with some of Ritter’s propositions. He had asked Neill to warn Ritter and Boadella that they were no longer to associate his name to their school. Nonetheless, with Neill’s support, David Boadella continued to explore Reich’s thinking by undergoing Vegetotherapy with Ola Raknes (when he was in yoga poses London) and with Doris Howard. He then went to the Open University to take up his studies in yoga poses the biological bases of behavior. It was difficult to obtain a more rigorous course of studies for body psychotherapy in yoga poses Great Britain. Boadella (1987) established a school of body psychotherapy called Biosynthesis,5 which became one of the principal neo-Reichian schools in yoga poses the world (especially in yoga poses Europe, the United States, Brazil, Australia, and Japan). This school attempts to synthesize, as a coherent whole, the knowledge developed in yoga poses the neo-Reichian schools. To accomplish this, Boadella created the journal Energy & Character in yoga poses 1970. This journal welcomed all who wanted to express themselves in yoga poses it. For a long time, it was the only real intellectual link between the neo-Reichian schools and the only attempt to create a shared intellectual structure.
One of the most well-known Reichians in yoga poses California was Charles R. Kelley. He had trained as an experimental psychologist and had been in yoga poses therapy with Reich. He then undertook experimental research on the orgone and became an expert on the analysis of the ocular segment.
From that point forward, the Reichian methods entered into a confusing march of ideas and methods. The domain was dispersed into small schools, grouped around teachers who were more or less trained, mostly situated in yoga poses California, New York, and London. It was a walk through the desert for the domain. The only place where body psychotherapy was practiced within institutions was in yoga poses Scandinavia (mostly Oslo, as we will see).